In winter season, the pipes are prone to freeze and then crack it, creating problems. Freezing water turn to ice within pipes and block the pipes hence disturbing whole water supply system. This disturbance causes excessive pressure in system and cause water supply failure in different places in homes. Pipes are made of plastic, copper and steel and all are tended to freeze. The frozen pipes can cause big stress, severe property damage and large repair expenses.
A lot of water supply system failures are due to frozen pipes in winter season. Even a small crack can unleash more water in a single day. To prevent this situation, you must take preventive measures and prepare your pipes for winters. For this you have to plan ahead, before winter arrives.
Older homes are fitted with pipes which tend to break easily after water freeze because they become worn out.
Many newer homes are fitted with pipes and insulations designed to tolerate subfreezing temperature. Use insulation which is found in different thickness and pipe width at local hardware store.
Heat cable is available at hardware stores and you can use it by itself. These heat cables are used in extreme weather. It is plugged in and secured along the length of pipes. They generate warmth to keep water pipes temperature stable and above- freezing temperature.
You can prevent pipes from freezing by draining outdoor plumbing lines in late fall, including sprinkler system and irrigation system.
Turn on the heating in your home and open all cabinet doors under sinks and in storage areas to allow heat to circulate around un-insulated pipes.
Allow to drip hot and cold water to trickle overnight. Be careful not to over use it to prevent freezing.
You must seal and caulk holes and cracks in walls and foundations near pipes.
You must know where your shut off valve is located to use it as soon as problem arises.
Here are some signs of frozen pipes such as turning on faucets and no water comes out. Your toilet bowels do not refill after flushing. There is frost on the pipes and pipes are bulging with excess pressure and strange odors coming from faucets and drains. You should know when to call a plumber as soon as possible to check and take care of the problem properly and promptly. They are expert in dealing with such kind of plumbing problems. If a home owner tries to thaw the frozen pipes by himself, he may make the problem worse. Frozen water clogged the pipes and if thawed incorrectly can cause cracks in pipes. If improper heating procedures are used such as open flame may cause fire or electric shock. He may add to the cost by doing by himself.
If you are building new home, install pre insulated pipes in areas sensitive to winter, attics, crawl spaces, exterior walls and underground irrigation. Pre-insulated pipes are more expensive than un-insulated PVC, PEX or copper but your investment is worth it, keeping your winter tension free and hassle free.